Amazon adds 100K jobs, prioritizes certain products amid coronavirus outbreak

(NEW YORK) — While many businesses are struggling to stay afloat amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, Amazon is ramping up hiring as more Americans practice social-distancing and turn to the online retail giant for their goods.

The company announced this week it is “opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public.”

Amazon said it is “seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year.”

In addition to the new positions, the company said it will be increasing pay for its hourly employees in the U.S., Europe and Canada through the end of April.

“In the U.S., we will be adding an additional $2 USD per hour worked through April from our current rate of $15/hour or more, depending on the region, C$2 in Canada, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries,” Amazon said.

The move amounts to an investment of over $350 million, according to the retail giant.

In other news, Amazon also announced this week it will be focusing its efforts on stocking its fulfillment centers with needed essentials in order to better serve customers during the outbreak.

“[I]n the short term, we are making the decision to temporarily prioritize household staples, medical supplies and other high demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers,” the company said. “We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability of these essential products, and continue to bring on additional capacity to deliver customer orders.”

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